Do you know how it feels to end up lost abroad and no one is there to help? This situation can be very scary. You should always be ready for any situation while wandering around. The better you are equipped and the more experience you have the easier it will be to deal with your problems later on.
– When you go trekking in a remote place away from home for longer than 1,5 hours you should always take sufficient water, some food and a fully recharged cell phone or a map with you. If you do have the skills take a compass along to navigate yourself through the woods.
– It is important to have several emergency numbers saved on your phone such as police, ambulance (they are not always the same as those in your country!), your hotel and if possible from a travel buddy.
– If you are traveling with other people inform them where you are going and when they can expect you to be back.
– There are many free apps you can use to navigate such as maps.me or google maps. Depending on the country you are in one might work better than the other.
– It is recommendable to have a look on your map each half an hour or so, depending on the path you are on. You really don’t want to find yourself as a dot in the middle of a forest. Always double check if you are still on the path which is leading you to your destination.
– Make sure to ask locals if your route is really doable on feet by yourself. Memorize the way you came from in order to find back to your starting point. This might be tricky sometimes and if you get to a point where you lose track better make notes on your phone or mark the road with signs.
– Some paths shown on maps do not exist or lead you through private roads. Big aggressive dogs can appear in the most unlikely places. That is the reason why walking sticks are your best friends to keep them away. I sometimes use 2 of them to work out my upper body while going for long walks. You take pressure from your knees and increase your balance in difficult parts of your journey.
– It is absolutely necessary to wear good shoes as you might end up in an unexpected situation where every little detail can decide about your faith.
– There is no harm to carry rain clothes in your backpack, especially in the mountains where the weather can change within minutes.
-Depending on where on earth you are trekking you should wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from the strong solar radiation which can harm your eyes.
– A good mini flashlight can last for hours and weighs nearly nothing. It can help you immensely in difficult terrain when it is getting dark.
– You would need some extra equipment if going for a mountain bike ride. A spare tube, tools, a pump, bicycle clothing, and a helmet are essential for your safety. Pick shoes in which you can easily walk a long distance in case something happens to your bicycle.
– If you are in a country where you do not speak the language you should either write down some phrases or you might want to carry a pocket dictionary with you.
– The devil is hidden in the details! If you happen to get lost take a deep breath and stay calm. You should try to be safe in any situation. This means you should rather return and “give up” on your planned route than getting yourself into more troubles.
– It might be helpful to learn some basic survival skills if you are an outdoor person who is constantly wandering around. If you happen to get lost and find a river. Go downstream and you will most likely end up in a town.
– The most important thing is to believe in yourself while alone in the wilderness. Be self-confident but know your boundaries.
– If you made a mistake and it is getting dark you should better turn around than to lose your way even more. Be wise, smart and foreseeing
– If you are lost, try to make signals such as controlled fires with plenty of green leave material, write HELP or SOS in the ground or build something to make others aware of your situation.
Don’t be selfish and think about your family, friends, and relatives who love you. Within seconds your situation can switch from “Ah, what the hell I can do this” to you twisting an ankle and getting stuck alone in the forest. There is no weakness in giving up. In contrary, you may learn something to it and improve your skills.
It is certainly better to carry around items such as a spare tube for years and never need them than ending up somewhere in the mountains with a flat tire and no spare tube, many hours away from the next town. The next thunderstorm might be closer than you think.